The Reason You Have Rotten Service

The Reason You Have Rotten Service
"I come in here all the time and the service is always lousy." This is a statement recently screamed at a server which I and everyone in the restaurant overheard. This person was insisting that they came in to this place often and every time the service received was sub-par. Really? Every single time? If the service is so bad, why do you keep coming back? Why not go somewhere else? How is this place still in business? Do they single you out and make sure only your service is bad? Do they give bad service to everyone? If that is the case, then refer to my last question: How come the place is still in business?

Obviously this guy, receiving the lousy service, was having a bad day. Given his excessively loud statement, he most likely has lots of bad days with lots of bad encounters.

If you consistently receive bad service, yet continue to return, either you enjoy rotten treatment, or you bring this on yourself. My guess is the latter. The truth is, it doesn't matter where you go, your attitude will always make your experience a lousy one.

It's not too hard to get bad service all the time. Even the most patient of servers with the best intentions have the ability to perform terribly on a consistent basis where a bad customer is concerned. Thing is, it's not the server who is doing a bad job. It's the customer who is bad. Here are a few reasons you too may have the title of a bad customer, and wind up with bad service.

First you are unkind to the servers and your fellow guests.
When you are eating at an establishment, you are actually a guest in their dining room. Sure there's an open invitation for you to dine there, but it's their kitchen, their silverware, tables, chairs and wait staff. Given this piece of logic, you are expected to be aware of your impact on the restaurant and the people around you. This means the occupants of the table next to you are going to tire quickly of your selfies, pictures of your food, loud, non-inside voices and videos during dinner. The staff is going to get antsy when you decide to occupy a table long after you have finished your food and drink. Feel the need to linger? Head to the bar or another establishment. If you plates have been cleared, your wine glasses are empty and you have paid your bill, it's time to go. Especially consider leaving if the restaurant is packed and other people are waiting for your table.

Second, you don't tip enough.
At a young age I overheard a server tell my parents that if you tip well, the bartender will pour heavy. I didn't know what this meant at the time, but I certainly realize the truth of this statement today. It's hard to believe that low tips are still a problem. Everyone knows that servers rely on your tips to pay their bills. Opting out of a tip makes you look cheap. Do you want to look like someone who will buy low-grade stuff because you aren't concerned about the quality? If that's the case, eat at McDonalds. Their food is inexpensive and no one there expects to be tipped for waiting on you. If you attend a restaurant, however, plan to include a tip (a proper one) in your meal budget. Be sure to tip for the full amount of your meal when you use a gift card. If you don't leave a tip on your credit card receipt, plan to leave cash.

Third, you are mean
Not realizing you are taking up a table that others are waiting for is one thing. Being mean to servers, hostess and other staff is another. Is the tone of your voice condescending? Is your demeanor hurtful and rude? As a customer, you need to own up to your responsibility to create a positive dining experience. Patrick Maguire, author of "I'm Your Server, Not Your Servant" says, "If everyone spent a little bit of time on the receiving end of the general public's wrath, the world would be a much more gracious, patient and humble place."

Mr. Maguire's statement encompasses much of what this style and etiquette site teaches and encourages. Consideration for others is what makes us human beings who are worthy of being around other human beings.

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